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Community transport group needs more drivers to help isolated residents

A volunteer from Norfolk Community Transport Association helps an elderly lady get to an appointment. The organisation is appealing for more drivers.

A volunteer from Norfolk Community Transport Association helps an elderly lady get to an appointment. The organisation is appealing for more drivers.

Archant

They are the people who ensure isolated and vulnerable patients can get to crucial medical appointments.

And now organisers of a community transport scheme are hoping you can do your bit to help Norfolk residents who rely on volunteers to get to health or other meetings.

The plea comes from Norfolk Community Transport Association, which oversees nearly 50 travel schemes across the county.

Its chairman, Kate Gill, said the volunteer drivers at the association offer some people their only chance of getting to health or social appointments – but more chauffeurs are needed.

The group carries out about 250,000 trips per year.

“We’re in urgent need of people who are willing to give a few hours of their time to drive local residents on straightforward but essential journeys,” she said.

“We’re very lucky in Norfolk – many communities have a volunteer car scheme, a community-run bus service, or a dial-a-ride scheme which offers responsive and accessible travel options, but we do need drivers.

“Our schemes rely heavily on the important contribution made by volunteers.

“We would urge anyone who feels they might be able to contribute to the wellbeing of others in their community to get in touch to see how they might be able to help.”

She said the rural nature of a county such as Norfolk means community transport is “many people’s only way of getting to and from healthcare appointments or just to the local shops”.

The association is especially important to residents who live in isolated parts of the county where there is no commercial transport available.

If you would like to volunteer or find out more, call 01362 698216 or visit www.ncta.org.uk

Have you got a health story? Email nicholas.carding@archant.co.uk

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